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InnovFest 2012 boosts technology transfer

20 April 2012

Rubaiat Habib demonstrating SandCanvas' novel animation capabilities

With the increasingly competitive regional and global economic conditions, the need for innovation and technology commercialisation has never been greater. Guest-of-Honour Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Chairman of the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), highlighted this at the opening ceremony of InnovFest 2012 on 19 April.

Organised by NUS Enterprise, the three-day event aims to boost technology transfer, entrepreneurship and investment among Asia's business, academic and technology communities.

"With support from ACE and the ACE Tech-Connect Taskforce, we hope to encourage more start-ups and companies to leverage technology. For companies that may not have the capability or capacity to undertake research or develop technology that is required for their businesses, we hope to improve their access to relevant technology, so that they too can continue to grow and compete in the marketplace," said Minister Teo.

For the first time, Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) Asia is incorporated into InnovFest and held concurrently with the Technology Commercialisation Forum in Singapore. Dr Lily Chan, CEO of NUS Enterprise, said that AUTM introduces an international dimension where noteworthy speakers gather to share the latest intellectual property and technology commercialisation trends.

SandCanvas, a new digital artistic medium inspired by sand animation presented at the event, was one of the innovations on display that caught Minister Teo's attention. Developed at the NUS Human Computer Interaction Lab by computing students Rubaiat Habib, Chris Chua and Chow Jian Ann, SandCanvas will be ready for download as an iPad application by early May this year. The project, which won the prestigious ACM Golden Mouse award for best design in 2011, was supervised by Dr Zhao Shengdong and Dr Low Kok-Lim of the NUS School of Computing.

The NUS Accelerator Workshop Programme by NUS Enterprise was launched at the festival. This inaugural programme is under the Accelerator Workshop Series, a new initiative aimed at strategically matching local start-ups and technology providers with leading corporations in various business sectors.